1st birthday - this is a big one, grab a drink & settle in!
I hate to sound cliche, but where has the last year gone?
It seems that as we approach & enter September we then hit this out of control, crazy spiral, head first toward Christmas.... #peoplearealreadychristmasshopping #omg
This time last year Emma & I were running around like a couple of mad women as we had signed a lease & were flat stick setting up our shop! September 23rd will mark exactly 1 year since Eggplant & Poppy opened in Oceana Walk, and what a year it has been.
As with any major life experience there are many lessons learnt along the way. Some good and some not so good haha...... lets take a look back on some of those moments shall we?
*cue lovely, soft memory conjuring music*
....I guess for me the best part of this year has been doing this whole thing with Emma - she is the reasoning when I am angry, the happiness when I am sad, and the bad singing that makes my ears bleed. We have had so much fun, sometimes I think "is it even legal to be having this much fun at work?" Our friendship has grown even stronger by running our shop together in every way - knowing that there is someone else there to pick up the slack when you have a shit day is so comforting, and not to mention just doing it with someone you 110% trust, that has the exact same goal as you!
Other major highlights apart from that mushy stuff was getting to go to Melbourne for our first trade fair - how exciting - and eye opening. It was one of our goals & reaching that was pretty satisfying to say the least.
-Thanks to our amazing & loyal customers, winning the Christmas In The City competition & $10k worth of adverting with the Cairns Post! AHHHHHMAZZING!!!
-The Valentine's Day Kissing Booth Fundraising event - we helped to raise over $800 for the FNQ Cerebral Palsy Support Group, and we also got to grope...sorry, work along side a half naked man for the day.
- The many times we have been included in gorgeous advertising campaigns - including when Miss World modeled our jewellery!!!!
- Surviving 4 lots of school holidays with kids in the shop. This might not sound like much, but keeping 4 monkeys entertained while still trying to run a small business is a GREAT way to test your sanity & multitasking skills.
I could go on & on about all the awesome stuff that has come with the shop this last year, but with the good also comes the not so good.... like Emma's merchandising ability (or lack thereof), the time when I had a couple of drinks & decided to do some ordering late at night which resulted in 192 notebooks.... the time Emma left a candle on.... all night... or when Emma put a cup in the microwave that had metal on it....the microwave nearly blew up - but the upside to this is that a good friend so kindly bought us a fire blanket - yep. safety first here at Eggplant & Poppy!
There is also my slackness at entering receipts into our accounting program, or just handing Emma a wad of receipts for her to guess what they are for because I have forgotten....Then there was the time I took off down the arcade after a suspected shop lifter wearing surgical gloves..... (don't ask). This list of "learning" goes on, and I suppose it's something we will always be doing, let's just hope that it's nothing we can get arrested for.
It goes without saying that running a business of any form is a lot of hard work, but heading into a shop front comes with lots of challenges also. We have learnt so much about business as a whole, but also accounting, stock ordering, stock take (groan) and GST (even bigger groan) Good Times. And as they say, nothing worth having comes without hard work! And while we are busy hoping that we are making all the right business decisions, we are also playing the balancing act of working Mums. Everyday questioning if we are giving our kids the time & attention they need, while answering emails, sending orders, shuffling paperwork, literally every hour of the day (except for a quiet period between 11.30pm and 4.30am), just trying to fit everything in. But we are getting there, none of our kids have tried to divorce us yet and all of them somehow manage to rock up to school each day in a clean uniform - winning!
We want to now finish off our Oscar style speech with thank yous.....
First of all I am going to thank Emma. You drive me demented, and can never concentrate on doing one thing at a time, but I love your stupid ass to pieces. I couldn't do this by myself & am so, so grateful that I have you do go on this adventure with. I have learnt so much from you too this year, you are a very smart & clever lady. Thank you for all the hard work you do with admin & accounting stuff especially..... god knows I wouldn't be able to! And thank you for putting up with my OCD :)
Josh & Kym - our handy husbo's who also do SO MUCH work for us behind the scenes, they sometimes complain about it (depending on amounts of beer & special cuddle payments that week) but do it with love for us & our dream. Thank you for putting up with us talking on the phone 75 times a day & for us constantly talking "shop" when we are together.... We love you!!!
Charisse, our accountant & probably our biggest fan!!! You have been our support system since day dot - believing in us when we doubted anything. Your on going love, encouragement & support is invaluable to us & we absolutely adore you to pieces! Thank you!!!
Our Mums - Barb & Marie; who, apart from Josh & Kym, cop our phone calls full of shop & work talk, Em & I both rely on our mums for sound advice. Love you Mummas!!!
Elise & Sandie - our trusty sweat shop workers. We literally have so many jobs that need to be done to keep the place ticking over that even if Emma & I worked every hour..for every day, we still would not get everything done. Sandy speaks with this weird accent (from some place called New Zealand??), Elise is a genuine Crazy Cat Lady...and we love them and are so grateful for all their help.
Awesome friends and school mums. Support and encouragement from friends is worth it's weight in gold and we can not thank you enough for the after school pick ups, reminding us when Sports Day is on and helping to keep our sanity.
Our arcade family - we love you guys, always encouraging & supportive. Friendly faces everyday, coffee catch ups out in the arcade make for the best work place.
And each & every single customer & supporter. None of this would be happening without YOU!!! Every purchase & share, like, comment & encouraging word means so much to us - thank you for believing in a couple of crazy mums with a desire to bring something quirky to Cairns & the world! We love you!!!!
Here's to many more of Emma's spelling mistakes, hairy hump days & every thing else in between!!!
Kirsty & Emma xx